Now I am surprised that Bear Grylls has written a book to be honest, I mean,, unless he was writing it whilst dangling from the edge of a cliff or navigating through swampy rivers in the Amazon, it’s not very hard core is it? But our man of survival seems to be everywhere at the moment, from guest starring on quiz panels to touring Australia, the ubiquitous tough guy evidently sat down at some point and penned his autobiography. And what a tale it is.
Growing up on the Isle of Wight, always a child who sought adventure from an early age, he was taught by his father to sail and climb. This followed a period where he started leading out-of-bounds night-climbing missions at school. His interests as a teenager included mountaineering and martial arts and following his heart he travelled to the foothills of the mighty Himalaya and a grandmaster’s karate training camp in Japan. Once he returned home home took part in a selection course for the British Special Forces to join 21 SAS – a journey that was to push him to the very limits of physical and mental endurance. But here things went decidedly awry. In Africa he was free falling out of a parachute and in an appalling accident Bear broke his back in three places. There was speculation if he would ever walk again but against all the odds and defying doctors expectations, eighteen months later, at 23 years old, he became one of the youngest ever climbers to scale Everest.
Now a TV celebrity in his own right, with programmes such as Man vs Wild watched by millions, Bear Grylls’ book gives an incredible insight into what makes him tick and survive as a human being. In his own words he tells us, “I would say that what matters is the following: to be self-motivated and resilient; to be calm, yet have the ability to smile when it is grim. To be unflappable, able to react fast, and to have an ‘improvise-adapt-and-overcome’ mentality … It’s not rocket science; it’s just about showing heart in the big moments.” But it seems that at the end of it all, he is just a basic bloke who loves his family and feels very lucky to be able to live his life the way he does, “The man in the mirror, though, is the husband to Shara, father to our boys, and just a regular guy with all the usual struggles, self-doubts and flaws that tend to go with life. And those are plenty. Trust me.”
An inspiring read whether you are a fan of Bear Grylls or not, this book may inspire you to go that extra mile and accomplish a long held dream you have had, just by sitting in an armchair and reading it.